A political story with a happy ending

October 22nd, 2020

This story begins with a house concert in Missoula, Montana. I have been friends with the host, Stew Weis, for a number of years and I have played in his and Meg’s home several times.

On the morning after the concert, we had a fairly substantial stack of uneaten pizza, plus some other items. I suggested we find a homeless shelter that would appreciate a modest donation.

Almost two years later, I received this email from Stew. I share it here with his blessing.

Greetings David,

I’ve been meaning to shoot you this message for some time and I’m finally doing it.

I don’t know if you remember this, but on the morning of Sunday, October 28th, 2018, you and I hopped in the car with a whole bunch of leftover pizza, salad and cake from the previous night’s house concert and drove it to the Poverello Center, Missoula’s most prominent homeless shelter, and dropped off our haul, feeling pretty confident that every last morsel would be enjoyed.

Well, that part you most likely do remember. This next part you may not.

On the way home from dropping off the food, I worked up the courage to broach the subject of politics with you. It took courage because at that time, I considered myself a Republican and at least on Facebook, I don’t think that I had ever witnessed you using the word “Republican” without it being prefaced by the adjectives, “those motherfucking.” So, I was a bit gunshy about admitting to you my party affiliation. Though I did further explain that I did *not* vote for Trump, yet I could not vote for Hillary, either. I voted for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, which I can see in hindsight was a huge mistake and a total waste of my vote. I also explained that I had always considered myself a “social liberal” and a “fiscal conservative.” And finally, as an employer with ~200 employees, I “get to” experience crushing federal regulation that a non-employer just cannot appreciate, which is why most business people with any significant number of employees tend to be Republican.

Thankfully, and really not surprisingly, you accepted my position with respect and decency. Thank you for that.

Little did I know that this was a bit over a year from a totally unexpected and dramatic change coming my way.

While my disdain for Donald Trump slowly grew over the ensuing months, what pushed me right over the edge was the Ukraine scandal, the infamous quid pro quo and the ensuing impeachment hearings. I became a voracious consumer of cable news, viewing for hours on end, CNN, MSNBC and even Fox News, just to keep tabs on what bullshit was going on over there. I watched almost the entire impeachment hearings and the Democrats impressive parade of witnesses, including but not limited to Alexander Vindman, Marie Yovanovitch, Gordon Sondland, Fiona Hill and more. It was during these hearings that I got to know the names and quickly came to hate, Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes, Matt Gaetz, Doug Collins, John Ratcliffe, Louis Gohmert and several others. I was stunned by the way these assholes fell in lockstep behind Trump, even though to my eyes (and I must admit to taking a degree of pride in being able to tell the difference between truth and bullshit) Trump was beyond guilty.

This was the precise moment in time at which I flipped. I was literally now a Democrat. It’s really kind of bizarre, in retrospect, how it happened as fast as flipping a light switch. However, I was witnessing a Republican party that I no longer recognized. Furthermore, once I found myself on “the other side,” I quickly began to realize that there was a lot more that I identified with “over here.” Conversely, I also began to realize that I had been living with quite a bit of cognitive dissonance as a Republican, especially when it came to social issues. One example is the abortion issue. The government has zero business in a woman’s vagina. None! Period! Anyway, as the months go by, I am finding myself much happier and enjoying greater peace of mind as a Democrat.

I’ve come to define the two parties this way, in as few sentences as possible:

The Republican Party regards the Almighty Dollar as the most important thing in life. Get all the money you can; the hell with everything else AND it’s every man for himself.

The Democratic Party believes that our country and our world works best when it works for all its citizens and inhabitants. What the hell is wrong with striving for world with no poverty, no hunger and no homelessness? In fact, we have a long way to go until these problems are eliminated.

No doubt you’re well aware of this paradigm shift in my own politics, as I’ve also become annoyingly politically vocal on Facebook. I’ve lost some “friends” as a result, too. Sorry, life’s too short to worry about that.

Anyway, David, this is really just something that I wanted to share with you, mostly as a result of that brief, sticking my toe in the political waters in the car, on the way home from the Poverello Center that October Sunday morning in 2018.

It seems that you and Rita are still doing well and making the best of our temporarily coronavirus-dominated life, as are Meg and I. I wish more people would realize that it could be so much worse.

Hopefully we’ll soon have some real leadership. How incredibly refreshing!

–Stew

Let me add that I recently, like literally just a few days ago, figured out at least one element of Trump supporters.

First I should say, that I have said more times than I could possibly keep count of, that the only thing more perplexing to me than how this moron got elected to the highest office in the world, are the millions of people that believe in him and support him. What am I missing? I guess the better question is, “What are they missing?” Why don’t they get it?

Anyway, it occurred to me that there are some people that simply will not, under any circumstances, vote for a Democrat. They would vote for Satan himself before voting for a Democrat. I believe that Fox News is largely responsible for this perception, but such is the case.

The rural, redneck, uneducated element is a lot easier to make sense of.

Anyway, yes, feel free to share. I’m thrilled that my little “political statement” could be put to good use!

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1674

October 18th, 2020

Week of October 19, 2020

Part 1 24:45
Grateful Dead 2/23/71 Capitol Theater, Port Chester NY
UNCLE JOHN’S BAND
LOSER
PLAYING IN THE BAND
BIG BOSS MAN

Part 2 31:16
Grateful Dead 2/23/71 Capitol Theater, Port Chester NY
CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER->
I KNOW YOU RIDER
ME AND BOBBY MCGEE
BERTHA

Grateful Dead, Workingman’s Dead (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) (Rhino)
I’M A KING BEE

David’s daily livestreams

October 11th, 2020

I play a live show EVERY DAY!!

Tuesday-Sunday 4pm Pacific, 7pm Eastern
http://facebook.com/dgansmusic
http://cashortrade.org/streams/david-gans/

Monday 3-4:15pm Pacific, 6-7:15pm Eastern
http://facebook.com/deadheadland
http://deadheadland.tv
http://cashortrade.org/streams/david-gans/

I am playing for tips, and appreciating donations at:
http://paypal.me/dgans
http://gdhour.com/support
http://Venmo.com/David-Gans-9

Buy books and music at http://perfectible.net
My co-author, Blair Jackson, lives down the street, so if you order a copy of This Is All a Dream We Dreamed: An Oral History of the Grateful Dead it’ll be signed by both of us!


Photo by James Goldman

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1673

October 11th, 2020

Week of October 12, 2020

Part 1 30:04
Grateful Dead 6/8/92 Coliseum, Richfield OH
SPACE->
DARK STAR->
THE LAST TIME

Part 2 25:27
Grateful Dead 6/8/92 Coliseum, Richfield OH
STELLA BLUE->
SUGAR MAGNOLIA

Grateful Dead, American Beauty: The Angels Share (Rhino)
ATTICS OF MY LIFE

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1672

October 4th, 2020

Week of October 5, 2020

Part 1 34:48
Grateful Dead 6/8/92 Coliseum, Richfield OH
CRAZY FINGERS->
CORRINA->
DRUMS

Part 2 21:00
Grateful Dead 6/8/92 Coliseum, Richfield OH
US BLUES
Evie Ladin Band, Playing Our Hand (Evil Diane Music)
MISSISSIPPI HALFSTEP UPTOWN TOODELOO
Matt Rae, Twangin’ the Dead (mattrae.com)
RUBIN AND CHERISE
Might as Well: The Persuasions Sing Grateful Dead (Grateful Dead)
BROKEDOWN PALACE

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1671

September 27th, 2020

Week of September 28, 2020

Part 1 27:31
Grateful Dead 6/8/92 Coliseum, Richfield OH
JUST LIKE TOM THUMB’S BLUES
BLACK THROATED WIND
DON’T EASE ME IN
~
CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER->
I KNOW YOU RIDER

Part 2 27:23
Grateful Dead, Pacific Northwest ’73-’74 (Rhino)
HE’S GONE->
TRUCKIN’
(6/26/73)

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1670

September 20th, 2020

Week of September 21, 2020

Part 1 23:44
Grateful Dead 5/28/76 REHEARSAL
CASSIDY
CASSIDY
ATTICS OF MY LIFE
LAZY LIGHTNING->
SUPPLICATION

Part 2 31:31
Grateful Dead 6/8/92 Coliseum, Richfield OH
FEEL LIKE A STRANGER
LOSER
LITTLE RED ROOSTER
SO MANY ROADS

Interesting that the Dead rehearsed “Attics of My Life” before their June 1976 comeback tour, because the song didn’t make it into any of their setlists in that era. They didn’t play “Attics” in public again until more than a decade later (10/9/89)!

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1669

September 13th, 2020

Week of September 14, 2020

Part 1 30:48
Grateful Dead 4/10/83 Coliseum, Morgantown WV
SPACE->
THE WHEEL->
PLAYING IN THE BAND->
CHINA DOLL->
SUGAR MAGNOLIA

Part 2 24:13
Grateful Dead 4/10/83 Coliseum, Morgantown WV
US BLUES
Grateful Dead, Europe ’72: The Complete Recordings (Rhino)
PLAYING IN THE BAND (4/8/72)
IT HURTS ME TOO (4/8/72)

Support for the GD Hour comes this week from Dead Space App, the first of its kind social media app for Dead and Jamband fans. Dead Space App is available in the Apple and Android stores and comes with a desktop version!

Article about DG’s daily livestreams

September 8th, 2020

Monika Wallis shared this article on FB with this comment (reposted with her permission):

One day, the end of June, I ‘stumbled’ across this music stream, which literally changed my life, during the Pandemic. Being a Deadhead, I knew of David Gans, but now I know him. Every day I get an hour of calm, healing, retreat & being with others in my culture who are like minded. On my Birthday, I requested 9 songs of which he played all, to my surprise. This is a great article about him. Give him a listen, you won’t regret!

David Gans Live-Streams Daily During the Pandemic

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1668

September 6th, 2020

Week of September 7, 2020

Part 1 26:10
Grateful Dead 4/10/83 Coliseum, Morgantown WV
UNCLE JOHN’S BAND->
PLAYING IN THE BAND->
DRUMS

Part 2 29:03
Grateful Dead, June 1976 (Rhino)
THE MUSIC NEVER STOPPED (6/10/76)
Grateful Dead, Dave’s Picks vol. 34 (Rhino)
TO LAY ME DOWN
Might As Well: The Persuasions Sing Grateful Dead (Rhino)
SHIP OF FOOLS
The Barton Hills Choir
BROKEDOWN PALACE

I had the life-changing experience of co-producing Might As Well: The Persuasions Sing Grateful Dead with lead singer Jerry Lawson. For this song, we had the wonderful Vince Welnick on piano, and Persuasions bass singer Jim Hayes takes the lead. Here’s my studio diary, with tons of photos and links to other articles about the project.

“Brokedown Palace” is a remote recording masterminded by Gavin Tabone, the director of the Barton Hills Choir (a grade school in Austin, Texas). Keyboardist Jeff Chimenti (of Ratdog and Dead & Company fame) is one of the participants, and I played acoustic guitar (but that’s Gavin at the start of the song). Here is the video. Enjoy!

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1667

August 30th, 2020

Week of August 31, 2020

Part 1 24:14
Grateful Dead 4/10/83 Coliseum, Morgantown WV
TENNESSEE JED
MY BROTHER ESAU
MIGHT AS WELL

Jerry Garcia and John Kahn, GarciaLive vol 14 (Round)
FRIEND OF THE DEVIL

Part 2 31:22
Grateful Dead 4/10/83 Coliseum, Morgantown WV
TOUCH OF GREY->
MAN SMART, WOMAN SMARTER

Grateful Dead, Workingman’s Dead (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) (Rhino)
GOOD LOVIN’

DG’s daily live performance

August 29th, 2020

I play a live set every day!

Tuesday through Sunday 4pm Pacific time on my FB page @dgansmusic
Monday 3-4:15pm on Deadheadland’s FB page and deadheadland.tv

I play for tips! Appreciating donations via PayPal and Venmo

You can also support my music by buying books and music at perfectible.net

Here’s a taste of my “solo electric” style: “Not Fade Away” from August 12.

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1666

August 23rd, 2020

Week of August 24, 2020

Part 1 41:14
Grateful Dead 4/10/83 Coliseum, Morgantown WV
SAMSON AND DELILAH
FRIEND OF THE DEVIL
ME AND MY UNCLE->
MEXICALI BLUES
ALTHEA
LITTLE RED ROOSTER

Part 2 14:10
moe. 8/1/20 online performance
WEST LA FADEAWAY
Grateful Dead, Workingman’s Dead (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) (Rhino)
DIRE WOLF

Support for the Grateful Dead Hour comes this week from:

In partnership with the Jerry Garcia Family, Tessemae’s Organic Food Company introduces new Cosmic Jerry Sauce, a sweet and spicy everything sauce made with only real, organic ingredients, honoring the legacy of Jerry Garcia with that Tessemae’s does best: simplify food to amplify life. You’ll find this and many other clean label, organic products online at tessemaes.com


The New Reverend Freakchild album The Bodhisattva Blues featuring Melvin Seals, Mark Karan and Robin Sylvester. The Bodhisattva Blues is available at your favorite digital music provider and from TreatedandReleasedRecords.com. May these sonic offerings ease your sufferings in these strange times.

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1665

August 16th, 2020

Week of August 17, 2020

Part 1 32:08
8/13/95 Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
MEMORIAL CEREMONY FOR JERRY GARCIA

Part 2 23:36
Grateful Dead 3/18/95 Spectrum, Philadelphia
IT’S ALL TOO MUCH->
IKO IKO

Grateful Dead, So Many Roads (1965-1995) (Grateful Dead)
BEAUTIFUL JAM

Jerry’s been gone for twenty-five years. He and the Grateful Dead are even more popular today, somehow!

Support for the Grateful Dead Hour comes this week from Tessemae’s. In partnership with the Jerry Garcia Family, Tessemae’s Organic Food Company introduces new COSMIC JERRY SAUCE, a sweet and spicy everything sauce made with only real, organic ingredients, honoring the legacy of Jerry Garcia with that Tessemae’s does best – simplify food to amplify life. You’ll find this and many other clean label, organic products online at tessemaes.com

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1664

August 9th, 2020

Week of August 10, 2020

Part 1 26:09
Grateful Dead 12/7/81 Civic Center, Des Moines IA
JAM->
DRUMS->
SPACE

Part 2 28:52
Grateful Dead 12/7/81 Civic Center, Des Moines IA
TRUCKIN’->
BLACK PETER->
SUGAR MAGNOLIA

The Grateful Dead Hour is made possible in part by The New Reverend Freakchild album The Bodhisattva Blues featuring Melvin Seals, Mark Karan and Robin Sylvester. The Bodhisattva Blues is available at you favorite digital music provider and from TreatedandReleasedRecords.com. May these sonic offerings ease your sufferings in these strange times.